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A Legacy of Legacies

Sister Mary Cephas Wichman

Sister Mary Cephas Wichman

"A servant to others..." "A caring and giving person..." "The first to extend a welcome..." These are descriptive words written by friends and colleagues of Sister Mary Cephas Wichman when she retired from Mount Mercy in 2004.

Sister Cephas has been affiliated with Mount Mercy since she arrived on campus with two suitcases in 1949 to begin her life as a junior college student. Following in the footsteps of her aunt, Sister Mary Pierre McAleer, and great aunt, Sister Mary Ildephonse Holland, she joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1950. She served in elementary education for 18 years and as president of the Cedar Rapids Sisters of Mercy for eight years.

She returned to Mount Mercy in 1971 as a trustee, followed by service as alumni director, director of planned giving and vice president for development. She led two major building campaigns, helped build the endowment and established the Heritage Club to recognize individuals who have included Mount Mercy in an estate plan.

Sister Cephas dedicated much of her career to developing relationships and raising support for education, a hallmark of the Sisters of Mercy. She offered guidance to donors who wanted to leave a legacy through an estate plan. Mount Mercy continues to see the fruit of her efforts today. In the last six months alone, Mount Mercy has received three legacy gifts totaling nearly $1 million. These individuals had the joy of initiating plans during their lifetime in order to leave transformational gifts that will fund their priorities in perpetuity. So you see, Sister Cephas created her own "legacy of legacies" that continues to grow the endowment 12 years after her retirement.

She was deeply touched when Mount Mercy established the Sister Mary Cephas Wichman Endowed Scholarship in recognition of her retirement. She responded by saying, "I cannot think of a more meaningful gift. Scholarships—so dear to my heart—will help students reach their educational goals for generations to come!"

As you consider how to distribute the assets you have accumulated through your lifetime of hard work and reflect on what you want your legacy to be, Mount Mercy’s Development and Alumni Relations Office is here to assist. We can serve as a resource on charitable giving and the ways in which a long-term gift can help you achieve your philanthropic goals.

Extend Your Impact
Create your own legacy today and support what matters most to you and your family. Contact Lonna Drewelow at (319) 368-6468 or ldrewelow@mtmercy.edu for information on how to maximize your charitable giving at Mount Mercy University.

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Mount Mercy University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Mount Mercy University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Cedar Rapids, IA, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Mount Mercy University or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Mount Mercy University as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Mount Mercy University as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Mount Mercy University where you agree to make a gift to Mount Mercy University and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.